by Winter

ATF Alternate Universe


The elevator doors opened and Nathan walked towards The Sevens' offices. He walked in to find JD sitting on Buck's desk. The two of them were discussing a file Buck had spread on his desk. Ezra was on the phone and Josiah was nowhere in sight. Buck looked up and saw Nathan.

"Hey Nate," he smiled. "They kill each other yet?"

"No, but they came close today."

"Why today?" asked JD.

"Because it's raining."

"Yeah, so?" asked JD confused.

"Vin's stuck in the house," Buck said shaking his head. "We might want to check on them later."

"Hey Nate," said Josiah as he walked in. "They kill each other yet?"

"No, not yet," laughed Nathan.

"Just finished having this conversation?" asked Josiah.

"Well gentlemen, how are our missing comrades?" asked Ezra as he joined the others.

"That's the last time I tell y'all individually," said Nathan. "They're fine!"

The all laughed and were teasing Nathan when Buck's phone rang.

"ATF, Agent Wilmington....yeah.......WHAT!.....How the HELL!........I don't want to hear any excuses! Keep us informed." Buck slammed the phone down. "SHIT!"

"What's wrong Buck?" asked JD concerned.

"Tommy Hong escaped while they were transferring him to the federal prison."

"WHAT!" three voices cried in unison.

"Some of his men hit the transport truck. They killed the guards," Buck explained. "Oh damn!!!! I better call Chris."

Buck grabbed the phone and dialed.

+ + + + + + +

Vin finished his lunch and was putting the dishes in the sink when the phone rang.

"Howdy, Larabee's Hacienda"

"Hey Pard, how's it going?"

"Alright I reckon."

"That's great, is Chris there?"

"Where the hell else is he gonna be?" asked Vin sarcastically. "Hold on I'll get him."

Buck could hear Vin yell Chris's name over the receiver. The phone made a soft thud as Vin placed it on the counter. After a few minutes wait Buck heard someone pick up the phone.

"Yeah," said a familiar voice.

"Hey Chris. How's it going?"

"I know Nathan made it back to the office and gave his report. So this isn't a social call. Spill it."

"Look Vin already bit my head off, Thank you," laughed Buck to take the sting from his words.

"Sorry Buck, What's up?"

"Tommy Hong escaped."

"How the hell did that happen?" Chris yelled.

Vin looked over from the couch when Chris yelled. He grabbed the crutches and went back into the kitchen. He came over to hear Chris ask how Tommy had escaped.

"Anyone hurt? ....SHIT! No we'll be OK.......Alright we'll see ya." he hung up the phone.

"He's going to come looking for us," stated Vin.

"What makes you think that?"

"We took him down. That's why."

"I don't think we have anything to worry about. If he was smart he left the country. He's too hot right now he won't try anything. Looks like the rain's stopping. I'm going to let the horses back out."

Vin watched Chris walked down to the barn. He was getting a bad feeling about this.

+ + + + + + +

Deep in the heart of Chinatown, in an abandoned building, Tommy Hong gathered with his most trusted men.

"I want the 'Magnificent Seven' taken down!" he demanded. "They have ruined me in this town and I won't stand to have them mock me. Especially the longhaired one. I treated him as an equal and so did Shiko. I want him! He was hurt during the raid so check the hospitals. Don't anyone go near the Federal building. Do I make myself clear? Do not fail me in this!"

Tommy bowed to his men and they returned it. They all left to carry out their assigned duties

+ + + + + + +

The next morning Chris decided he better head in to the office. He had decided to take Vin with him. He didn't want to take any chances. He went down the hall to wake the younger man. He opened the door to find him sprawled on his stomach in the bed. His hair was covering his face and he had thrown all the blankets on the floor. Chris shook his head and went to wake him. As he got closer to the bed Vin came instantly awake and Chris jumped.

"Hey cowboy," he smiled.

"Damn! I wish you wouldn't do that," scowled Chris.

"Habit," he said as he sat up. "So what's up?"

"We're heading into the office today," Chris explained. "Hold on don't get all excited. We're only going in to check up on everything. Nothing else."

"That's alright," Vin said eagerly as he got up and grabbed the crutches. "When do we leave?"

"After breakfast and after I change those bandages."

"I can do it myself," said Vin defensively.

"Suit yourself," said Chris.

He didn't want to push the issue and Vin had been doing it himself lately. Chris went into the kitchen to start breakfast. About an hour later Vin came out and headed for the kitchen. Chris smiled as put a plate of waffles with bacon and a cup of coffee in front of the younger man. Vin dug in and Chris was glad his appetite was back. Chris started on his own breakfast when he heard Vin moan.

"What's wrong?"

"This coffee's what's wrong. You sure you put any grinds in there?"

"Sorry, I can't drink the slug you do and neither should you."

"Yes mom," Vin smiled and went back to his breakfast.

Chris watched as he poured more maple syrup on his waffles and cringed. Everyone knew Vin had a sweet tooth. Once the women in the office found out they started baking him all sorts of things. Vin felt funny taking them so he would leave it for everyone in the break room. Once they were done with breakfast they washed the dishes. Vin was incredibly neat and insisted the dishes be washed or they would never get the syrup off later. Chris let him have his way so Vin washed and he dried. Around 11:00am they were finally on the road to Denver. An hour later they were pulling into the garage at the Federal Building. Chris parked in his spot and they got out. Cuervo immediately popped his head out from under Ezra's car.

"Hey Cuervo," Vin called. "Still trying to figure out how to get in Ezra's car?"

Vin tried to reach down and pet him as he rubbed on his leg but couldn't reach. The cat sensed something was wrong and jumped on the hood of Ezra's Jaguar so Vin could pet him.

"Better not leave any foot prints," laughed Vin as he scratched the cat behind the ears. "Well gotta go."

They entered the elevator and Chris hit the button for their floor. He could see Vin tensing up. He knew that as soon as he stepped off the elevator everyone would come around to find out how he was doing. Vin didn't want to be fussed over but this encounter would be inevitable. The door chimed and Chris stepped out first. He was wearing his patented expression that warned everyone to leave him alone. Vin followed in his wake and they made it to their offices without anyone stopping them. The others were no where in sight.

"Thanks Chris," said Vin.

"For what?"

"For scaring everyone off," he smiled.

"What are friends for," Chris laughed. "Where is everyone?"

Suddenly they heard a noise that could only be Buck and JD. They were arguing over how the best way to play one of their video games. Josiah followed behind them just shaking his head.

"Well hello boss," said Josiah.

"Hey Vin!" JD cried. "You look terrible."

"Now was that a nice thing to say," said Buck cuffing the kid in the back of the head.

"Can the boy help it if he is correct in his observations," said Ezra.

"You try being locked up in a house for almost two weeks," said Vin. "I haven't really been out side. I must look like a ghost."

"Yup, "agreed Buck as he looked closer. "Your tan is definitely fading."

He laughed and gave Vin a playful punch, which almost knocked the slighter agent over. Buck grabbed him and Vin just laughed. Josiah suggested they all have a seat. They all pulled up some chairs. Josiah helped Vin get comfortable and brought over a garbage can to prop his leg on. Chris asked what they had found out on Tommy Hong.

"Nothing!" Buck said frustrated. "It's like he's disappeared off the face of the earth."

"If he's smart he left the country," added Chris.

"He didn't," disagreed Vin. They all looked at him. "Just a feeling."

"That settles it," said JD. "I'll start digging more into his properties in town."

"We'll all start digging some more," said Josiah.

When Vin got one of his feeling the others usually listened. He hadn't been wrong yet. They discussed where to look and who might be hiding Tommy. Ezra noticed that Vin kept trying to rub his back on the chair. He finally reached over and started rubbing the sharpshooter's back. Vin leaned forward so Ezra could scratch lower and he sighed in contentment.

"Jeez Ezra if he were a cat you'd have him purring by now," laughed Buck.

"Puuuurrrrrrr!" said Vin with a smile They all laughed.

Fifteen minutes later the phone rang and Chris answered it. The news that he was in the office hadn't taken long to reach the higher ups. They listened as Chris answered them with yes or no's and OK we'll be up in a minute.

"Damn!" he yelled. "Well boys grab all your stuff on Tommy Hong they've called a meeting."

Chris watched as they all went to get various folders and files. When the others were ready Chris got up to lead them out and noticed Vin following.

"Not you Vin."

"Come on Chris you need me," protested Vin. "I know how he thinks."

"I know," agreed Chris. "I have a feeling were going to be awhile. You don't need to be sitting in this meeting."

"But Chris I..." Vin stopped as Chris held up his hand.

" I know," Chris smiled and Vin nodded his head.

"Would you two stop that!!!!!!" protested Buck.

The others laughed and followed Chris down the hall and around the corner. Vin prowled around the office until he finally settled down to play JD's Gameboy.

+ + + + + + +

"God damned them!" Chris yelled as he looked at his watch. "It took them five hours to say the same thing over and over."

"Sometimes I do believe they just like to hear themselves talk," said Ezra.

"I hope Vin stayed out of trouble this whole time," said Chris as they walked into the office to find it empty. "Damn where is he!"

"Don't go jumping to any conclusions Chris," warned Nathan.

"You don't know him like I do," he said. "Everyone start looking."

They spread out into the other offices, on the floor, asking if anyone had seen Vin. After twenty minutes and no Vin Chris was getting angry. Josiah glanced at Chris door and noticed it was open. They hadn't even thought of looking there because Chris kept it locked when he went out. He walked over and pushed the door open to find Vin asleep on Chris's couch.

"I found him!" called Josiah gesturing to Chris's office.

"How did he get in there?" asked Chris as he went in to wake him. "Never mind I don't want to know. Hey pard, wake up."

"Finally," Vin said as he blinked. "I'm starved."

"A quick dinner at Inez's and then we head home. You have a doctors appointment tomorrow."

"Don't remind me. I'm not looking forward to it."

"Why not?" asked JD.

"The staples come out tomorrow," answered Chris.

"Ouch!" said Buck in sympathy.

They all grabbed their keys and headed for the garage. Vin decided to ride with Ezra so he didn't have to climb into Chris's Dodge. They met at Inez's and had a pleasant dinner. Buck spent most of the night flirting with Inez. She of course ignored him and lavished her attention on Vin since he was hurt. Vin didn't mind since it got him a huge plate of her famous chili and flat bread. After dinner was over they said their good nights and parted company.